A rendering of the tower that would replace Amoeba. | Courtesy of GPI Companies
The Amoeba store is “a cultural resource”
After unsuccessfully appealing the city to stop an apartment tower that would replace Hollywood’s Amoeba Music building, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Coalition to Preserve LA are now suing.
The two groups filed a petition Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to reverse the city’s approval of plans for the 26-story tower and halt any construction on the site at Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards.
“The city is giving short shrift to the historic significance of Amoeba by completely ignoring the rich and lengthy cultural history associated with this iconic corner of Hollywood,” foundation president Michael Weinstein says in a statement.
The two groups have together filed at least five appeals with the city against development projects in Hollywood since 2015, a Curbed review of planning data show.
In the lawsuit, the foundation and coalition refer to the Amoeba building as “a cultural resource.” They claim it “would be eligible for listing on the California register of historic places because of its culturally significant murals associated with significant artists.”
The two groups also announced today that submitted an application to name the property a historic-cultural monument.
The city approved the project from developer GPI Companies about a month ago. As planned, the tower would hold 200 apartments, 7,000 square feet of retail space, and parking for 277 cars in a podium along Sunset.
Amoeba owners have voiced plans to relocate but have yet to announce a new location, though they have said they want to stay in Hollywood. They sold the property to GPI in 2015 for $34 million.
You may have heard something about the future of Amoeba in LA. Rest assured, we are NOT closing. We are planning to move to a new space in Hollywood in about another year and will let everyone know when we have news to share.
— Amoeba Music (@amoebamusic) June 26, 2019
Other objections raised in the lawsuit echo issues with the project that the Coalition to Preserve LA—a group funded largely by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation—raised when it appealed the project’s approvals to the city’s planning commission, including that it does not include the amount of affordable housing required by planning guidelines for the area.
Of the proposed 200 apartments in the project, 10 of them will be for very low-income tenants. AHF and the coalition have said there should be more.